Lakers Move Gasol To The Bench
Pau Gasol is moving to a reserve role and the Los Angeles Lakers have replaced him with Earl Clark in the starting lineup.
Coach Mike D'Antoni made the move before Monday night's game against the Chicago Bulls, hoping a quicker lineup would spark a team that had dropped eight of 10. It comes after Gasol scored 25 points in Sunday's loss at Toronto.
D'Antoni says he spoke to Gasol and that it's nothing "against him, it's better for us right now."
At 17-23 at the start of the day, the Lakers have been a major disappointment. They've been hit hard by injuries and switched coaches, with D'Antoni replacing Mike Brown.
Gasol is averaging 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds. Clark is averaging five points.
Cavs Lose Varejao For The Season
Anderson Varejao's season rapidly spiraled from a probable All-Star appearance to over.
The Cavaliers' hustling center, who led the NBA in rebounding before he went down last month with what appeared to be nothing more than a bruised knee, remained hospitalized Monday with a blood clot in his lower right lung, a health scare that will force him to miss the rest of this season.
Varejao, who underwent surgery on a torn leg muscle on Jan. 10, has been at The Cleveland Clinic since last Thursday. The Cavs said he will likely remain in the hospital for several more days as he receives treatment. Varejao is expected to make a full recovery, but he will remain on blood thinning medications for at least three months, the team said Monday.
The loss of the 6-foot-11 Varejao is a crushing blow to the young Cavs, who are just 10-32.
"Losing him already was bad enough for us," star point guard Kyrie Irving said. "The news got worse today. We wish him the best. We're all going to be there for him morale-wise, just try to be there for him as best as we can as teammates. That's all we can do right now."
Despite Varejao being admitted to the hospital four days ago, the Cavs did not reveal he was still there until shortly before Monday's workout at their training facility.
Varejao was having an All-Star-caliber season before he injured his leg on Dec. 18 against Toronto. Team doctors initially diagnosed the injury as a bruise and expected Varejao to make a quick recovery. However, tests revealed an uncommon split in his quadriceps muscle which required an operation. Varejao was expected to be out eight weeks before he developed the blood clot following the surgery.
General manager Chris Grant said the team is "fairly confident" the clot was not a reaction from surgery.
This is the third straight season Varejao has missed extended time with injuries. The Brazilian sat out 41 games last season with a broken wrist, and he was sidelined for 51 games in 2011 after tearing a tendon in his ankle while running after practice.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.